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Posted by Ijeoma on Thursday June 16, 2016 23:17:15:

I was posted to Edo state for my NYSC and the orientation camp was set in Okada town, at a school that was in the same town with Igbinedion University campus. I thanked God that I was not sent to Borno or any Northern state of Nigeria since I'm a southerner and not get killed for behaving like one in the north.

Getting to Edo state from Lagos was easy and was a 4 hr journey from Yaba as the bus I took was one belonging to Edegbe line. It was an air conditioned bus and the journey was swift.

I dropped off at Okada bus stop and took a small car along with other corpers I also met three to our orientation camp which was not far away.

After I arrived there, I got registered and so got my bed position which I chose. We were told beforehand what to bring to the camp and one thing I found really useful was my ATM card and a bit of cash. You would really need those.

We were fed at camp since we were the government pikins but we also complemented the food with food being sold at the mammy market which practically sold everything we needed at the camp. Some people lost their money and phone at the camp and some people probably had sex and kissed with others while some people loved bathing and pooping outside rather than going to the bathrooms and toilets in camp. I just have to say that life was adventurous.

Our camp experience lasted just 3 weeks and it really made us fit because we had to wake up about 5 am for jogging and marching on the field before going back to take our shower and food. We would later return to the field to do more training like marching and standing in the sun. We had abundant time to sleep after all the marching but it can be hard sleeping when life at the mammy market as more fun.

We were given periodic allowances at camp to help us financially and it was really helpful. We did an endurance trek and after that, I think we got a bigger allowance. Banks were on camp with their mobile offices urging us to save with them and I did because it was better than carrying cash around.

As our camp experience was rounding up, there were a series of activities and videos were also captured which was eventually sold at a CD to remind us of what we did at camp. We were later posted to various local governments in the state to do our primary assignment. I was posted to a local government office where we were mostly jobless for up to a year.

During my primary assignment, I have to confess that I left the state to Lagos may times although this was not allowed by NYSC standards but I was only able to do that because I had more free time. The case would have been different if I was teaching at a primary school or something like my other corper friends.

We were paid by government as well as by our employer on a monthly basis and although the money was small, it was ok for feeding and small pocket for a month. We also had free accommodation since it was provided by the NYSC after we got posted.

It's not easy staying within a particular local government for a year so we corpers tend to visit other areas around the state when we are free such as the weekends and some also travelled outside the state. We got to know each other better and make friends while also exchanging phone numbers.

As our NYSC year was rounding off, the next step was to go for job hunting or start a busienss. For most men who did the NYSC, they seemed more inclined to start a business while the ladies were more inclined to get a job and get married soon, whichever comes first.

The NYSC service year is a good experience worth having but it's really challenging for corpers who can hardly survive because they have little or no money. It's almost impossible to survive on NYSC allowances alone and so corpers try to get money through other sources just to have a more comfortable life.


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